Equestrian Center takes in animals evacuated from brush fire

Pierce College is accepting large animals at the Equestrian Center from the brush fire that started in Calabasas around 4 p.m today.

Patricia Warner, Assistant Professor of Horses Science, said they are setting up an evacuation system for the animals in the farm center.

“We have hundred’s of animals coming in,” Warner said. “It’s overwhelming right now, we’re trying to set up an evacuation for the chickens, goats, pigs that are coming in.”

Firefighters are currently battling the 200 acre brush fire that started South of Mulholland Highway near Calabasas High School. Around 200 residents were evacuated from their homes, according to KTLA.

Lost Hills Sheriff Station has communicated with residents through social media and posted locations of care centers for evacuated animals. Pierce College will be allowing all large animals to stay, according to the Lost Hills Sheriff Station’s Facebook Post.

“We have arranged that with Pierce College every time we have an emergency, we always have [the large animals] housed there,” Dispatcher Allen said. “Pierce is large enough to house them.”

*Update as of 3 p.m. Sunday, June 5*

Bags of shavings, water buckets, bales of hay and money donations are currently being accepted at the Equestrian Center for the animals that were evacuated from the brush fire in Calabasas.

Patricia Warner, Assistant Professor of Horses Science, helped animals that were coming in from Mill Creek in Topanga Canyon Saturday night.

“People should always be prepared,” Warner said. “We recommend documents and paperwork be done before coming in.”

Mette Rosencrantz lives in Mill Creek in Old Topanga and was told by LA County to evacuate the area.

“When there is an emergency, they give you places to go and they gave us permission to go to Pierce College,” Rosencrantz said.

Rosencrantz brought Alfalfa hay for her 6 horses.

“This is a common place for rescuing when things like this happen,” Rosencrantz said.

There were 39 chickens and 82 horses sent to Equestrian Center for evacuation, according to Rosencrantz.

Tara Donnelly lives in Jefferson Park and has been riding horses in Mill Creek for 12 years. She has volunteered at the Equestrian Center.

“I’m helping with walking the horses, cleaning their stalls out, help with feeding,” Donnelly said, “[I’m] Just another set of hands.”

Donnelly was volunteering since 8 a.m.on Sunday, June 5, but is unsure when they are able to return to the area.

“The last I heard it could be anywhere from Monday, to a few days from now,” Donnelly said, “It’s easy to evacuate people, but it’s harder to evacuate animals.”

Some of the horses that were kept in stalls were not used to being held inside at all times, so volunteers were taking the horses out of the stalls for walks to calm them down.

“A lot of these horses were competition horses, so they’re used to traveling,” Donnelly said. “But there are other horses that are not competition horses, but are still doing very well.”

There are about 70 horses from Mill Creek, according to Donnelly.

“The facility is beautiful and everyone here has been so great and helpful,” Donnelly said.

Candace Correa, Co-manager at Mill Creek, helped organize the evacuation system at the Equestrian Center.

“The Sheriff’s asked us to leave and evacuate,” Correa said. “Everything went smoothly last night. The volunteers had to fill out a form, put a tag on the horses and escort them to a stall.”

Correa said they brought it hay last night from Mill Creek to be safe but the County donated hay as well.

“Luckily we had enough stalls for all our horses and they’ve just brought in hay this morning, everything’s been good,” Correa said, “We’re so happy it’s well maintained and [has] enough room for all our horses.”

“Everyone here who owns a horse is coming today, we have [a] team spirit about us, so everyone is pitching in, by cleaning stalls, feeding horses and walking the horses,” Correa said.

Jacqueline Bohrer, 15, Allana Baker, 14, and Maggie Catalino, 16, own horses in Mill Creek and were evacuated from the area when they heard about the brush fire in Calabasas.

“It’s our evacuation spot, uphill away from the fire,” Bohrer said.

“The fire was making it’s way closer to our barn, so we had to make sure they were not there and brought them here to Pierce,” Baker said.

The owners bought hay from their own barn to feed their horses but feel confident that their horses are safe now that their away from that area.

“It’s a really nice facility, and all the horses seem happy without all the smoke there,” Baker said.

“Right now the road is still closed in Topanga to residents only and well just wait it out here,” Correa said. “I’m expecting to still be here until tomorrow, but it could be longer, they just have to give us the okay.”